Nordmann or Fichte?
Nordmann’s and spruce are the most common Christmas trees, where Nordmann’s sell the most because they do not release their needles as easily as spruce.
FEATURES: Conical, with open, thorny branches and silvery bark. Long shiny dark green needles with a white stripe on the bottom.
Pros: Soft foliage and excellent needlework have made this Christmas tree in the UK the most popular Christmas tree. Will stay fresh for a long time as long as it is hydrated.
Cons: One of the more expensive trees.
FEATURES: Tradition is the most popular tree, but now past Nordmann fir. Shorter, sharper needles that are lighter green than Nordmann fir.
Pros: One of the cheapest trees. Superstructure – so that children do not hurt their hands when decorating.
Disadvantages: You tend to drop the needles – you need to water them regularly to avoid this.
Felling trees, containers (pots) or growing containers?
You will find that Christmas trees are sold as cut trees or in pots. There is one key difference between the two pot types that affects their lifespan.
Chop down a Christmas tree
These are cultivated trees that are felled to the ground. Avoid anything that is nailed to the tree as it is harder to keep fresh. Many Norwegian spruce trees are cut as they grow to improve their shape, but will probably cost more – look for high quality trees. When we tested them, we put the felled trees from Nordmann and Norway in a plastic booth with a large water tank. Nordmann looked a bit in the air and the Norwegian lost a few needles, but overall they looked good after three weeks.
Verdict: If you just want an ornamental tree, this is the cheapest option. Treat it like a heavily cut flower and do not forget to recycle it.
Contained Christmas tree
These are the most expensive options and have lived their lives in a jar. When we tried them, our two trees were grown in small plastic pots and placed in a decorative pot. Large roots that grew through the bottom of the inner pot had been cut off. Both trees took water and looked quite good at the end of the experiment, although the spruce lost some needles. Both would be worth holding after Christmas. We also bought smaller spruce in a larger pot. Although this was the most expensive, it looked best at the end of our trial.
Verdict: Good investment if you want to have a tree in the garden for two or three years.
Christmas tree in containers (in pots)
When we tried this, the container trees we found were marked “Pot” and “Freshly cleaned … with some roots”. They had been dug up and potted, and most of their roots had been destroyed. In our experiment, this was the most difficult to maintain as they were pushed into their pots so hard that watering was impossible and they did not take much water from the saucer. Both species dried up quickly and Norway lost most of its needles. The Norwegian did not do much better. He looked bad and lifeless at the end of our career.
Verdict: Avoid these trees. Felling a tree is a better option, or look for a tree that will grow in a container.
How do you look after your Christmas tree?
The secret to a sustainable Christmas tree is to take good care of it, as it will make it less likely to drop its needles.
How do you see a cut Christmas tree?
- Buy it as late as you dare – preferably the weekend before Christmas – if you want it to look good and last until the twelfth night
- Look for newly stocked items. Choose one with a good shape and if you choose a felled tree, choose one with the free trunk at least 5 centimeters at the bottom.
- When you bring it home, cut the soil 3 inches from the trunk of a felled tree and put it in a bucket of water, in a cool place. Securely clamp it in place with a water tank and refill regularly. If the water disappears quickly, this is a good sign as the tree takes it in.
- Place wood in a cool place in the room, away from stoves. Living wood is best for a cool room, patio or sun room, especially if you plan to keep it. Place the live wooden pot in a deep bowl and keep the bowl filled with water.
How do you see a Christmas tree in a pot?
- Do not store your tree inside for more than two weeks. If necessary, you can place your tree in a sheltered place outside until you are ready to move it.
- Place a saucer under the pot to protect the furniture / floor or move the pot to another without drainage holes.
- Choose a nice place, away from stoves and fires, to prevent the tree from overheating. It must have natural daylight.
- Water regularly and do not let it dry, but do not leave it in the water.
- Try using ice cubes, which will also help keep the roots cool.
- Decorate with LED lights that do not burn the tree.
What to do with your tree after Christmas
- Felled trees are sometimes collected by the municipality’s waste management service.
- Otherwise, take it with your local advice. Put it in a large plastic film to avoid getting too many needles in your car.
- If you have one or borrow, use clippers or chainsaws to cut down your trees and cut them up. The shreds can then end up in compost or use as mulch. However, do not use them near plants as they steal nitrogen from the soil when they rot.
- You can plant trees in pots in the garden, but keep in mind that they will be too large for most gardens.
- They can also be stored in pots and grown outdoors until Christmas. Remove the top layer of compost every spring and add fresh compost mixed with controlled release feed. Water if the surface of the compost feels dry to the touch.